Arlington Park Selects Polytrack

Arlington Park announced today that it has selected Polytrack as the new state-of-the-art, synthetic racing surface that will replace its organic dirt track for the 2007 race meet, which begins on Friday, May 4, 2007. The project, with an estimated cost of $10 million, will make Arlington the first track in the Midwest with a synthetic surface, continuing the track’s heritage of leadership and excellence in the Thoroughbred racing industry.

“Arlington Park has always considered the health and safety of the horses and riders as our most important priority,” said track President Roy Arnold in making the announcement. “We are confident that our new Polytrack surface will provide the safest and best racing surface possible and will strengthen our leadership in the racing industry.”

“We are honored that Arlington Park has selected Polytrack for their surface,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “We have admired and respected Dick Duchossois for many years, and look forward to working with him on this project, as he has been instrumental in making Arlington Park into a showcase for Thoroughbred racing worldwide.”

The Polytrack surface is comprised of sand, synthetic fibers and recycled rubber that are combined and coated with a microcrystalline wax, which ensures that water flows vertically through it to the specially designed sub-surface drainage system to provide a safer, more consistent racing surface.

The specific mix that will be utilized by Arlington Park will have the same composition, including jelly cable, as the surface currently used at Keeneland in Kentucky.

“The specific mixture of the Polytrack surface that we’ve selected has been tested at Keeneland in one of the nation’s premier race meets involving many of the best horses in the country,” added Arnold. “There have been outstanding results with no significant maintenance issues and consistent praise from the horsemen.

“With this decision, we expect to improve our quality of racing with more fit, healthier horses and by attracting more trainers with better horses, including horsemen from Keeneland who want to run their horses on Polytrack at Arlington Park too,” said Arnold.

Arlington Park began construction of the new track’s base during the second week of December 2006 and is scheduled to complete the installation of the Polytrack surface by April 16, 2007. The main track will be open for training on Wednesday, April 25. Since construction began, the old dirt cushion and pad have been removed and the base has been graded. Trenching for the drainage system began during the week of January 22 and the drainage pipes and drainage stones were delivered last week.

The Polytrack materials will be produced locally in Troy Grove, Ill., and will be delivered to Arlington Park in stages starting sometime around the beginning of March.

Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at